Thursday 28 April 2011

Camra's Big Society


The 24th Paisley Beer Festival, organised by the Renfrewshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), kicked off officially today and for the next four days it promises to be a great festival if the excellent beer choice is anything to go by.

In the Scottish Bar, there are some stonking breweries showcasing and celebrating the best there is in the beer world north of the border.

The English Bar this year has focussed on beers from mainly Manchester and the North West and included in this feast are beers from breweries such as Allgates, Coach House, Hydes and Hornbeam.

The 'Foreign Legion' International bar is pretty special this year too with Cantillon, De Dolle, Girardin, Matuska, Bernard and the superb Jever Pils all making an appearance.

I intend to write about the Festival later on in the week, once it is all done and dusted, but I've been helping out setting up the festival and I wanted to say a few words, just now, about the the selfless and tireless work done by the many volunteers who have given up their time, and in many cases their precious holidays, to expend a lot of physical and nervous energy in making sure that the Festival is set up properly, runs smoothly and meets the very high expectations of a thirsty, knowledgeable beer crowd.

These volunteers have given up many, many hours doing back breaking and challenging work all for the love of their favourite pastime - Beer.

I have to say that it has been fantastic seeing so many people chipping in and helping out to make this festival what it is - the best Beer Festival in Scotland and one that has gone from strength to strength. But, they are not unique. All over the country, in the coming months, many thousands of Camra members will be doing  exactly the same thing as they pool their collective strength and work together to ensure that the cause of cracking beer is furthered.

If David Cameron wants to learn about the Big Society, his first port of call should be to one of the dozens of Camra Beer Festivals taking place in the next few months.

There, he will see the Big Society in action.

So, let's raise a glass to these volunteers that make magic happen at every beer festival across the land.




  1. Indeed. Good call. All too easy to forget the volunteers.

  2. Thumbs up for this post and for the volunteers at the Paisley Beer Festival. Met you briefly in the kitchens at the festival and while eating a sausage supper outside 'spoons during a brief break from behind the scots bar :) - now an avid follower of your blog.

  3. @susan

    Thanks for following the blog, susan.

    I remember you from outside the last post. I think i stole one of your chips!

    great to meet you!
    I enjoyed my time as a festival volunteer. It was a magic week.